Dermatology UK
consulting in London and Devon

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Skin Cancer
Skin Cancer incidents rates are rising national at approximately 5% per year. Partly due to living longer and partly due to more sun exposure and sun burning at home and abroad compared to our grandparents.


Basal Cell Carcinoma
The most common skin cancer with 80% of lesions on the face – main on or around the nose. Usually slow growing and non-invasive, but can burrow through the skin into the muscle and bone if left un-treated.


Squamous Cell Carcinoma
The fastest incidence rise seen compared to other skin cancers. Can be invasive, tender, grow quickly and spread through the body. Often seen on the background of sun-damaged skin and felt to be a progression from sun-damaged skin (Actinic keratosis and Bowens disease).


Seen at any age. A greater personal risk if a close family member has had melanoma or if an individual has lots of moles. Individuals with one melanoma have a 1 in 20 chance of developing a second melanoma. This skin cancer, if not identified and removed at an early stage (thin melanoma) will spread through the body. High risk sites for developing melanoma are the upper back in men and the lower legs and upper arms in women. The places we sun burn easily. Dermoscopy helps identify early melanomas and dysplastic (potential melanoma precursor) moles.


Lentigo Maligna
Presents as a brown or black flat mark on the face from middle-age onwards. Often overlooked or ignored. Dermoscopy or biopsy can confirm or exclude the diagnosis. A harmless ‘in-situ’ melanoma – but 10% eventually transform into true melanomas. This is why they are best treated.


Skin Cancer Professional Experience
Skin cancer regional MDT chairman and skin cancer lead clinician 2004-2014
Pigmented Lesion Clinic consultant RD&E hospital, Exeter 2003-2014
Skin cancer surgeon for minor and complex lesions 1995 to date
Clinical governance lead for GPSI in medical & surgical dermatology for Devon 2008-2014
Research collaborator in:
National and regional dermoscopy trainer for other dermatologists, GPs, dermatology trainees and nurse
Member of the British Society of Dermatological Surgeons
Member of the International Dermoscopy Society


Publications by Dr Downs:
AMR Dermoscopy for diagnosing skin lesions MIMS Autumn 2008
Downs AMR The management of actinic keratoses in primary care Prescriber 2013

Click here to see the rest of the Skin Cancer Publications by Dr. Downs

Professional Services Offered by Dr Downs
1. Whole body mole checks and skin cancer identification with dermoscopy
2. Skin cancer surgery
3. Photodynamic Therapy for pre-malignant lesions and early skin cancers


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